Chicken Fried Steak with Cabernet Sauce – Dallas Buyer’s Club

The Film:

The Dish:

The Reason:

Only in Texas would you find a character like Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey) – and a dish like chicken fried steak. A man’s man, who likes red wine, a rib eye, bull riding and the love of the ladies, Ron is lost when he discovers he has HIV – and only thirty days to live. This is the sort of dish that would help pack some meat back on his emaciated frame. I trust that any deception from the title of the dish won’t come as too much of a disappointment to someone who spends their remaining time smuggling substances – life saving as they are- into the country. Sure this is steak, but the only chicken you’ll find is in the similar style of breading to fried chicken. It’s traditionally served with a blonde gravy, though I think this sauce is more Ron’s style. It’s a drawling mix of gruff and sweet – though if you’re interested in truly preserving your health, some organic greens on the side won’t go astray.

The Way:

Serves 4


Chicken Fried Steak
4 x 150 g pieces of rib eye, pounded out to 3 mm thick, or 4 x 150 g minute steaks
1 egg
3/4 cup/175  ml of milk
1 cup of Self Raising flour
Salt and pepper
Sunflower oil to shallow fry

Cabernet Sauce
1 cup/250 ml of Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup/250 ml beef stock
2 sprigs of thyme
4 tbsp butter
brown sugar to taste

Here’s how we roll

1) To make the cabernet sauce, combine the red wine, stock and thyme in a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Boil until it has reduced by half and is a syrupy consistency. Add the butter, tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking well to emulsify. Taste the sauce. Depending on the tannins in the wine and the salt in your stock, you may need to balance the sauce with brown sugar. Add it pinch by pinch until you have a balanced, rich and slightly sweet red wine sauce. Set aside and heat just before serving.

2) To make the chicken-fried steaks pound out your steaks and season with salt and pepper. Place the flour in one shallow bowl and whisk your egg and milk together in another. Dredge your steak in the flour, then in the egg and milk and then once again in the flour.  Place the steaks on a board somewhere cool for 10-15 minutes to set, while you heat up your oil.

2) Heat your oil in a wide heavy bottom pan. You need there to be at least an inch of oil.  When the oil is shimmering, add one or two steaks. Do not crowd the oil. Fry for four minutes per side, until golden. Set aside to drain on paper towel and repeat with the remaining steaks, ensuring that the oil is hot again before you add any more meat. Keep the remaining steaks warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.  Serve the steaks with the cabernet sauce and some mashed potatoes and steamed green vegetables (for health reasons) on the side.


The Rest of Oscarsfeast 2014:


Nebraska: Meatloaf with Beer Braised Onion Gravy









Philomena – Brandy Soused Brack












Captain Phillips- Somalian Spiced Fish Cooked in Crazy Water











American Hustle – Brussel Sprout Gratin
















Her – Love Cakes



The Wolf of Wall Street – Dirty Martini Sashimi
Gravity- Dark Chocolate Floating Islands

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